Former Trump officials and conservative strategists are reportedly discussing the possibility of Fox News Host Tucker Carlson running for president in 2024
Carlson has previously denied interest in running for office, but many reportedly believe he’d make a formidable candidate
Carlson has amassed a massive base with his show Tucker Carlson Tonight, which has been named the highest-rated program in all of cable news
Politico reports that Roger Stone encouraged Carlson to run as a Libertarian in the 2016 election, but he declined
People close to Carlson are reportedly skeptical that he would run
Carlson has been a consistent supporter of President Trump and his brand of conservative ideology.
Former Trump campaign and administration officials are reportedly speculating that outspoken Fox News host Tucker Carlson could make a successful run for president in 2024.
Politico reports that conservative circles have been seriously mulling over the idea that Carlson, 51, could parlay his successful television career into a political victory – much like President Trump.
Several conservative strategists, commentators and others reportedly believe Carlson, whose outspoken brand of journalism has amassed a massive media following, would be an obvious frontrunner in the Republican primary.
Luke Thompson, a Republican strategist who worked for Jeb Bush’s super PAC in 2016, said: ‘He’s a talented communicator with a massive platform. I think if he runs he’d be formidable.’
Already, some Republicans have publicly voiced their approval of Carlson joining the ballot in four years.
‘Tucker Carlson should one day run for President of the United States. He would win,’ wrote Ryan Fournier, founder of the national organization Students for Trump.
‘Tucker Carlson Tonight,’ which appears nightly on Fox News Channel, was revealed to be the highest-rated program in all of cable news in history.
An average total audience of 4.3million Americans tune in for the program, as well as flock to the new station’s YouTube channel to watch his top viewed segments.
While most Republicans considering a 2024 run have affirmed allegiance with President Trump, Carlson has managed to be both the Presidents’ biggest supporter of ‘Trumpism’ and defiantly criticize him when he apparently digress from that ideology.
‘Trumpism’, an ideology centered on strong anti-immigration policies and America First isolation, has further ingrained Tucker with a conservative viewing base that has long chastised mainstream media for being biased.
But Trumpism has been criticized for being less of a clear structure of social and economic ideology, and more of Trump’s fancy that day.
Trumpism ‘what the president believes on any particular moment on any particular day about any particular subject,’ Ron Christie, a Republican analyst who worked in in George W. Bush’s White House, told BBC.
‘He could believe he’s against climate change on Monday, and Tuesday, he could come back to you and say I am the most ardent believer in climate change, but by Wednesday he could go back to his previous position.’
Carlson’s entry into the Republican political race would likely cause a rift among traditional conservatives and those who’ve fallen in line behind Trump – is the president an unexpected outlier among more centered conservatives or a disruptor that heralded in a new wave of party ideals?
The debate would undoubtedly skyrocket if Trump loses the upcoming November election.
‘Let me put it this way: If Biden wins and Tucker decided to run, he’d be the nominee,’ Sam Nunberg, a former top political aide to Trump who knows Carlson, told Politico.
But Nunberg is skeptical Carlson would even run because ‘he’s so disgusted with politicians.’
Even so, some strategists reportedly positioned with other potential candidates are convinced of his political aspirations and sensed whiffs of a stump speech in his recent TV monologues.
Rich Lowry, editor of the conservative National Review, admitted: ‘No one can dismiss this and say it’s completely implausible.
‘There is at the very least a significant faction within the Republican Party that [Carlson] has a huge stake in and arguably leadership over. If he has political ambitions, he has an opening.
‘He has a following and a taste for controversy. He’s smart, quick on his feet and personable. Political experience matters less than it once did.’
On his part, Carlson has neither run for political office nor publicly expressed any desire to do so.
In 2012, political consultant and convicted felon Roger Stone reportedly made an unsuccessful plea for Carlson to run for president on the Libertarian ticket.
Stone wrote to Politico in an email: ‘It is not inconceivable that I may have raised it in jest or in passing as repartee, but have no memory of that.’
Carlson has repeatedly dismissed notions that Trump’s election was a fluke, but was rather a necessary reordering of a Republican party that became to entrenched in foreign wars and capital gains tax cuts.
He suggested a divide among the Republican party this week, warning viewers of ‘vultures [who] wait just off stage to swoop in and claim the GOP for theselves once Donald Trump is gone.’
‘The moment Trump leaves, they will attack him. They’ll tell you that “Republicans lost power because they were mean and intolerant just like Donald Trump.” … It’s a lie.’
That is just one of several vociferous declarations he made over the past several weeks, much to the delight of GOP party members.
As many Republican leaders have acknowledged efforts for law enforcement reform and removing controversial Confederate statues, Carlson has openly condemned the Black Lives Matter movement.
‘This may be a lot of things, this moment we are living through. But it is definitely not about black lives, and remember that when they come for you,’ Carlson said in a June 8 video.
The statement caused several advertisers to pull their content from his program, including T-Mobile, whose CEO Mike Sievert responded ‘Bye-Bye, Tucker Carlson.’
He also faced reported backlash in 2018 over inflammatory comments he made about immigrants, which he said ‘makes our own country poorer, and dirtier, and more divided.’
Carlson emerged from the backlash unbothered and apparently unscathed.
‘The angry children you watched set fire to Wendy’s and topple statues and scream at you on television day after day are truly and utterly stupid,’ he said last week in reference to the death of Rayshard Brooks.
He also denied that America was steeped in systematic racism. even going so far as to say ‘this is the least racist country in the history of the world.’
‘Millions of Africans want to move here. Many already have. Our last president was black. What are you talking about?’
Viewers rewarded him with skyrocketed ratings, Politco reports.
‘What he’s been saying speaks for a lot of people, and it’s basically not expressed or serviced by most Republican politicians,’ said Rich Lowry.
‘There’s a lot to be said for being fearless, and he is, while Republican politicians, as a breed, are not.’
His fearlessness has also created enemies within his own party, including Former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley and Jared Kushner.
When Haley suggested the death of George Floyd ‘needs to be personal and painful for everyone’, Carlson accused her of using ‘moral blackmail.’
This week, he mocked Republican Senators Ron Johnson and James Lankford over their proposal to make Juneteenth a national holiday while simultaneously ditching Columbus Day to maintain the same number of national holidays.
‘They describe themselves as conservatives, as improbable as that may seem,’ he said.
Carlson also shared a harsh message for Republican leaders he’s suggested have manipulated citizens with ‘partisan junk food.’
He criticized them over their ‘so-called principles turned out to be bumper stickers they wrote 40 years ago.’
‘Instead of improving the lives of their voters, the party feeds them a steady diet of mindless, symbolic victories — partisan junk food designed to make them feel full even as they waste away,’ he said.
Carlson added his own apology to the mix for ‘the extent this show has participated in it.’
Jared Kushner, a top White House add and Trump’s son-in-law, was not spared from Carlson’s critiques either.
Kushner, according to Carlson, has dampened the president’s ‘Trumpism’ approach to law enforcement, foreign policy and immigration.
‘No one has more contempt for Donald Trump’s voters than Jared Kushner does, and no one expresses it more frequently,’ Carlson said in a June monologue.
It was reported this week that Trump regretted placing Kushner in charge of passing bipartisan criminal justice reform.
The comments about Kushner have reportedly made some conservatives wary of lauding Carlson on the record, but many view him as an exciting possibility fit to spearhead the next generation of the Republican Party – not Vice President Mike Pence.
‘I think everybody views Pence the same: What a great guy. But I don’t think anybody thinks he’s the force of nature that it takes to win the presidency,’ a former White House official told Politico.
‘I think Day One, Tucker probably starts ahead of those people if he does run.’
A Republican strategist with ties to the White House added: ‘If you are a Republican politician and you want to know where Republican voters are, all you have to do is watch Tucker Carlson every night.’